Whitman, Mass. police investigate deadly car crash into building

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October 15, 2010, 12:20 pm
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(NECN: Brad Puffer, Whitman, Mass.) - Around six Friday morning, this 2001 Ford Windstar lost control, slamming into the side of a building in downtown Whitman.  The impact killed 28 year old Sean Bowman, a father of two young girls, and left his girlfriend critically injured. 

Jack Cookson, Bowman's Uncle
"Everyday he has been faithful to his kids, on his way to college and dropping his girlfriend off and very sad, really sad day."

The long trail shows where the car left the roadway hundreds of feet before.  Oil and fluid spilled on the sidewalk before heading back across the road.

David O'Mara, Witness
"I heard four impacts, hit a sign down there and a curb down there by the house an that woke us up."

David O'Mara says he ran to get help at the nearby fire station.  Flames had erupted.  Police first on scene held back the flames - perhaps saving the passengers life.  But it still took another 40 minutes to get the victims out.

Chief  Christine May-Stafford
Whitman Police Department
"The flames, even though they had extinguished them, they would keep coming up to the windshield and was very close to where the victim was sitting."

The question now what caused this tragic accident.  Ford recently issued a recall for this vehicle saying the rear axle could crack and break.  Now investigators are looking at that possibility.

Jack Cookson
"Last night around 10 o'clock, he called his mother he says, Mom, I have got my car into the shop and have something looked at because I here a funny noise."

Jack Cookson is Bowman's uncle.  Looking at the scene and the crashed car he sees an axle and wheel dislodged and worries that whatever was making that noise caused the car to crash.

Jack Cookson
"We think he lost a rear axle or something because you see fluid down there on the sidewalk and then he lost control."
"Are you afraid that it could have been exactly what this recall is all about?"
"I believe it is, I believe right now it is."

Tags: massachusetts, car , Fire, crash, Brad Puffer, building, Whitman
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